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Kuo: AirPods With Wireless Charging Case Expected in Early 2019, All-New Model in Early 2020

In a brief research note highlighting Apple's suppliers for its popular AirPods wireless earphones, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that new AirPods with a wireless charging case will debut in the first quarter of 2019, with an "all-new design model" following in the first quarter of 2020. The updates are predicted to drive strong sales growth for the product.


We attribute AirPods' dramatic growth (14–16mn, 26–28mn, 50–55mn, 70–80mn and 100–110mn units in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively) to 1) the upgraded model with wireless charging support to benefit shipments to launch in 1Q19, 2) the all-new design model to boost replacement demand to launch in 1Q20, 3) an innovative user experience, and 4) high integration with iOS and Mac products. In summary, AirPods is Apple's most popular accessory ever, and it currently has the best growth momentum among Apple products.
Kuo notes that fewer than 5 percent of iPhone users currently own AirPods, and with over 1 billion iPhone users worldwide, there are "great potential growth opportunities" for the accessory.

Nearly a year ago, Kuo predicted Apple would launch upgraded AirPods in the second half of 2018, but Apple's difficulties in bringing its AirPower charging mat to market have undoubtedly impacted its AirPods plans to some degree. Just ahead of Apple's October media event, Kuo noted he was uncertain about the timing for an AirPods update, indicating it could come late in the fourth quarter or early in the first quarter of 2019.

Related Roundup: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago
Not going to buy unless they feature a more substantial and streamlined redesign.



Rating: 37 Votes
2 weeks ago
New design with a $90 higher price. Just $249.

Existing model stays in lineup as “we want as many customers as possible to enjoy AirPods”. Now just $99.

Obvious Apple will continue their hike strategy, with a new model and higher price.
Rating: 34 Votes
2 weeks ago
Really wish they didn't leak sound as much as they do...
Rating: 21 Votes
2 weeks ago
Bought two pairs so far. I'm sure I'll buy more, it's really an excellent product simple as that.
Rating: 19 Votes
2 weeks ago

Controversial opinion:
Wired headphones are so much better.

You don'y have a mini-DAC feed by a low-bandwidth, low-energy protocol.
Also, you are limited driving the speakers with a small battery.

The 3.5" or 6,3" jack is not obsolete at all.
It's just that marketing wants to push extremely miniaturised products.

I could not disagree more. So few people actually care about anything that you posted. The sound quality is more than good enough for most people. Just walking around and working out are much better without a cord hanging in front of you the whole time.
Rating: 13 Votes
2 weeks ago
Why not just wait then?

I mean, I know why, but...
Rating: 12 Votes
2 weeks ago
Never liked their earphones.
About time they offered a decent in-ear silicone option with lightening jack.
Rating: 11 Votes
2 weeks ago
I still haven’t bought Airpods and won’t until they come out with black ones.
Rating: 9 Votes
2 weeks ago
With the amount of money Apple have sitting in the bank, it’s no wonder their share price is dropping when they are no longer the first to innovate -and- they fail to deliver new products on a regular basis.

These new wireless headphones and Apple’s own wireless charger were expected months ago!

Meanwhile, Belkin are releasing their second wireless charger and I’m still using Belkin’s first wireless charger which is going strong.
Rating: 9 Votes
2 weeks ago
Just because they’ll have a case that can charge wirelessly(*), let’s price them at $199, to keep with the 30% price increase just because we update a ‘yearly’ product.

(*) With a wireless charger that is not included, but we can sell you our AirPower for $149, $199 or the price we want.
Rating: 9 Votes

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